Long lines form as early voting begins

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NEW ORLEANS – It’s the first day of early voting in Orleans Parish, and lines of prospective voters formed as soon as polling places opened.

At the Lake Vista Community Center on Spanish Fort Boulevard, the line stretched in a long curve along the parking lot and all the way past Lake Vista United Methodist Church.

Lakeview resident Eric McDonald showed up just after 7 a.m. to cast his ballot. Half an hour later, McDonald said there were approximately 50 people in front of him, with another 150 to 200 people lined up behind him.

Photo by Eric McDonald

“It was incredibly important to me to make sure my voice is heard, both for president and for all the incredibly important down-ballot measures like 15 judges and 7 constitutional amendments,” McDonald said. “With all the questioning about the validity of this election, voting early and on day one was incredibly important to me.”

While the country at large is embroiled in partisan conflict that often turns nasty, McDonald said the people waiting in line with him have all been kind.

“Plenty of people waiting in line have been having friendly, civil conversations with one another,” he said. “No one is mentioning candidates, just saying how nice it is to see so many people take this seriously and showing up to make their voice heard.”

In addition to the Lake Vista location, early voting is taking place at City Hall, the Algiers Courthouse, the Voting Machine Warehouse on Chef Menteur Highway, and at the Smoothie King Center.

Hundreds of people turned up at the Voting Machine Warehouse this morning as well, creating a long line as early voters waiting patiently for their turn to cast a ballot.

All early voting locations open at 8:00 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. for each day of early voting, except Sundays and state holidays, according to the City of New Orleans.

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